After taking the series opener last night north of the border, laying the beats to Yankee killer Alek Manoah in the process, the Yankees are back at it tonight. The second game of this four-game set against a divisional rival provides the opportunity for New York to assure no worse than a series split.
Domingo Germán gets the ball tonight, and if someone told you in February that he would be the Yankees’ second-most reliable starter through the first month and a half of the season, I’m not sure how many would have believed it. But here we are. Tonight marks Germán ninth start of 2023, and he’s been especially good in May with a 1.89 ERA and 2.94 FIP accompanying a minuscule .407 OPS allowed in three outings (19 innings).
Keys to Germán’s early season success: he has opposing hitters swinging outside the strike zone, and missing his pitches. It’s tough to score runs when you can’t put lumber to baseball. Germán’s chase rate entering this evening sits in the 93rd percentile and his whiff rate ranks in the 84th. That said, it behooves him to be careful with Toronto’s young stars. Both Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have taken him deep twice, in 11 and 12 career at-bats respectively.
For the Jays, Kevin Gausman gets the start. His 2-3 record and 3.38 ERA are a bit deceiving. Gausman has averaged six innings per start for the Jays this season, and his K%, BB%, and Chase Rate all rank in the 93rd percentile or better. Put bat to ball, however, and you’ve got a shot. Gausman’s HardHit% (14th), Barrel% (24th), and Avg Exit Velocity (25th) are all well below average.
For the Yankee offense, Anthony Rizzo won (lost?) rest day roulette today, so the man who’s arguably been the Yankee’s first quarter MVP will at least start the night on the bench. He’s hitting a mere .190 in 21 career at-bats against Gausman, so that may have something to do with it (though more likely the Yankees are just giving his back a proactive day off). Harrison Bader moves up to the three-hole to protect Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu gets the start at first base. Judge, who’s swinging a big stick recently, comes into tonight 9-for-27 against Gausman in his career with three big flies. May he hit a couple more tonight. So say we all.
The Yankees took the first game of this series last night and a win tonight guarantees a split, with the possibility of even better results. Hopefully Germán is on and the MVP stays hot at the plate.
How to watch
Location: Rogers Centre — Toronto, ON
First pitch: 7:07 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES – NYY / SNET, SNET-1, SNET NOW App – TOR
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280 / SN590, Sportsnet.ca
Online stream: MLB.tv